I am absolutely delighted to include in this review an interview with the very lovely Shea Ernshaw, author of The Wicked Deep which is out on 8th March, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK and available for pre-order now here
The Wicked Deep is set in the town of Sparrow and the enchanting Lumiere Island, inhabited by Penny and her mum where they maintain the lighthouse and await the inevitable annual event, the Swan Season.
The story begins just as the Swan Season starts, when tourists flood the small town of Sparrow and the end of the school year means parties on the beach and a long, hot summer. It also means that three 200-year old witches will take the lives of the boys they desire the most, pulling them into the water and drowning them.
The Swan sisters, beautiful, deadly and cursed by the town they now haunt, revisit each year by snatching and inhabiting three girls then working their way through the town of Sparrow, choosing who to drown that season.
I fell in love with the setting and the lyrical beauty of the text, and several days later, I was still haunted by the Swan Sisters and the complexities of their characters. I couldn’t help but like the Swan Sisters, they are truly bewitching – be prepared to fall into this world and not want to put the book down!
The Wicked Deep is Shea Ernshaw’s debut novel and she very kindly agreed to answer a few questions for all the readers and writers out there!
I have a wonderful home office space where I do most of my writing. I usually make a cup of black ginger tea before I sit down to write and I like to have my window open to let in the fresh outside air, even in winter. When outlining and brainstorming, I listen to music, but while writing I often prefer the silence.
All three Swan sisters were unique and complex and fun to write. Each have moments throughout the story when you aren’t sure if they’re the hero or the villain. And I just love writing characters with a hidden dark side!
Growing up, I spent a lot time on the Oregon coast, so a lot of my inspiration came from real life towns nestled along the shore. When I first began outlining THE WICKED DEEP I happened across a listing for a lighthouse that was for sale and this sparked the idea for Lumiere Island. I love the idea of being able to purchase a lighthouse and live on a windswept island.
This book didn’t endure as many revisions as other stories I’ve written in the past. I had a pretty solid outline before I began writing so the final draft is pretty close to the very first draft. Only a few changes here and there. I don’t anticipate any future book will be quite so clean! 🙂
I queried agents the good old fashioned way and endured countless rejections before I finally found my fabulous agent. The book I landed my agent with was ultimately shelved, and then I wrote THE WICKED DEEP. I was lucky that we went to auction with this book and had several publishers to choose from. It wasn’t a linear path to getting published, and there were many ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change a second of it. For any writers out there querying: keep hustling, keep writing, keep querying!